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Some CT CPFs want SANDF deployment extended

The Mitchells Plain community policing forum said there had been a massive decrease in gang-related crime since troops hit the ground a few months back.

FILE: SANDF soldiers on patrol in Hanover Park. The military has released their soldiers to help stabilise gang hotspots, while law enforcement agencies conducted raids in the area. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) is scheduled to end it's deployment in Western Cape communities in about a week, but some community policing forums are calling for an extension.

In July, the army was deployed in 10 gang-ridden areas as part of Operation Lockdown.

Premier Alan Winde has also written to President Cyril Ramaphosa and Defence Minister Nosiviwe-Mapisa Nqakula requesting that the army deployment be extended for a further six months.

The Mitchells Plain community policing forum said there had been a massive decrease in gang-related crime since troops hit the ground a few months back.

Chairperson Abie Isaacs said that they were recently briefed by police and the SANDF on the successes and they were satisfied.

He suggested that the army stayed put for the festive season.

"As the CPF executive members have been part of the operation and we can clearly say that we have confidence that the SANDF deployment needs to be extended to assist the other law enforcement agencies."

Nyanga CPF chairperson Martin Makhazi agreed, saying that the miltary should remain in gang hotspots until the end of the year.

"Although it was not 100% but there was a drop in criminal activities. It was very effective because there was a week when Nyanga had zero murders."

The Department of Defence said that a decision had not yet been taken and various security agencies had to sit down to assess the situation on the ground.